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2000-11-02 OPR-001
OPRAF

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Building a better railway: four shortlisted for new Transpennine Express franchise


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OPRAF

Building a better railway: four shortlisted for new Transpennine Express franchise
_______________________________________________________________


date
2 November 2000
source OPRAF
type Press release



Four parties have been shortlisted to compete for the new TransPennine
Express franchise, a new strategic franchise designed to improve fast rail
services across the North of England.

The new franchise will link Liverpool and Manchester with Leeds, York,
Newcastle and Sheffield as well as other key towns and cities in the North
West and North East. Commitments will include the progressive improvement
of rail links to Manchester Airport, together with enhanced frequencies and
journey times on key TransPennine routes.

The shortlisted parties are:
Arriva plc (franchisee of Northern Spirit and Merseyrail )
Connex Transport UK Ltd (franchisee of South Eastern, and also
South Central pending handover to GoVia)
Serco Rail (operators of Manchester Metrolink)
ViaGTI in partnership with FirstGroup plc. (ViaGTI are partners in
GoVia which runs the London Thameslink franchise and it is also the
preferred Counterparty for South Central. FirstGroup run the Great
Eastern, Great Western and North Western franchises)

Mike Grant, Franchising Director and Chief Executive of the sSRA said:
"TransPennine Express is designed to offer many benefits for those who
travel and live in the North of England, offering a genuine alternative to the
congested motorway and trunk road network, and additional capacity to reflect the growth forecast for Manchester Airport.
"This new franchise has attracted keen interest both from existing and would be operators. By providing fast, frequent and reliable rail services between
large towns and cities and key rail, air, sea and road interchanges,
Transpennine Express will encourage the greater use of rail throughout the
North of England. Its objective is to offer upgraded, fast services in the Leeds
and Sheffield to Manchester corridors, opening up many new journey
opportunities in and around the region.

"I am confident that we are taking forward exciting and robust proposals. The
number of parties is expected to come down to two in the New Year, when we
reach the next round. We shall need to take time to allow proposals to be put
together in the light of the pressure of current network problems on operators .
Ultimately I aim to select the best deal for passengers, delivering an
innovative and strategic approach to the future operation of the TransPennine
Express franchise."

Notes to Editors
1. A map detailing the existing TransPennine area is attached. Bidders are
expected to expand and develop on this.
2.TransPennine Express is a new franchise designed to offer frequent, fast
and high quality train services in the North of England between:Towns and
cities including Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, York, Newcastle,
Scarborough, Middlesbrough, Preston, Doncaster and Sheffield and other key
destinations including Manchester Airport
3. Other intended benefits include:
A quality alternative to the M62 , M56, M6 and A1 (M)
Good links with other local and long distance rail operators in the North
East and North West
4. After South West Trains, this is the second franchise to reach the shortlist
stage from the second batch of four brought to the market by the sSRA in
March. The other two franchises are Wales and Borders and Central Trains,
both of which will be shortlisted soon.
5. The new TransPennine Express franchise was announced in March and
featured in the sSRA's re-drawn franchise map issued in June, as did the
proposed Northern franchise, which will offer more local services to the region
served by TransPennine.
6. The new franchise will also serve five Passenger Transport Executive
(PTE) regions. The sSRA is working closely with the PTEs in Greater
Manchester, Merseyside (Merseytravel), Nexus (Tyne & Wear), South
Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-11-02 OPR-001





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